Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries – the vessels that carry your blood from your heart to your brain and the rest of your body. You need a certain amount of pressure to get the blood moving round your body. However, having high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart attacks or strokes. What are three delicious treats to help lower your readings and reduce hypertension risk?
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, dietary nitrate in helping to provide sustained blood pressure lowering abilities was analysed.
“We assessed whether dietary nitrate might provide sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients,” noted the study.
It added: “We randomly assigned 68 hypertensive patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to receive daily dietary supplementation for four-weeks with either dietary nitrate (250mL daily, as beetroot juice) or a placebo.”
The study found that daily supplementation with dietary nitrate was associated with a reduction in blood pressure.
“These findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of hypertensive patients.”
Pistachios have the strongest effect of all the nuts tested on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
One study found that pistachio’s may lower blood pressure during times that are stressful, owing to its effect on the blood vessel tightening and the heart rate.
In addition to being high in antioxidants, pistachios may lower blood cholesterol and improve blood pressure, thus lowering your risk of heart disease.
Figs may improve blood pressure and blood fat levels, which can help improve your vascular health and decrease your risk of heart disease.
One study found that fig extract decreased blood pressure in rats with normal blood pressure, as well as those with elevated levels.
Figs are also high in potassium which is a nutrient that helps negate the ill-effects of sodium.
Potassium acts as vasodilator and helps discharge sodium through urine helping to lower hypertension risk.